• Olivia Anelise

Liv's Local Guide To Chicago

Hey friends! It's been about 7 months since I've lived in Chicago but I get asked often on my favorite restaurants and things to do throughout the city so I decided to put them all in one place. It's also a great reminder for me when I come back home on where my favorite places are. Chicago will always have a special place in my heart and still has some of the best food and coffee shops in my opinion.

​What are some of your favorite spots in Chicago?




BRUNCH


Cafe Marie Jeanne - Humboldt Park

Little french restaurant in Humboldt Park with some of the best breakfast. They have THE BEST scrambled eggs + toast (not gf) ever! 



Range - Lincoln Park 

Seasonal and farm-to-table menu. I always love the eggs bennedict! 


Gather - Lincoln Square

Seasonal and farm-to-table menu. The pancakes and biscuits + gravy are just... wow. 


Eden Chicago - West Loop

Farm-to-table menu. One of the best brunch spots in Chicago. 


Southport Grocery & Cafe - Southport 

Seasonal menu and supports local farmers. Try the rice krispy treat! 


Baker Miller - Lincoln Square 

​Mindy's Hot Chocolate - Wicker Park 

MUST try a bagel. Just sayin! 


River Valley Farmer's table - Ravenswood 

Local farm-to-table restaurant and grocery shop. Haven't been dissappointed once. 


Wheat's End - Lincoln Park 100% gluten-free restaurant. From pancakes to veggie panini, everything is amazing! 


3 Arts Club Cafe - Gold Coast Mainly a must for the experience and walking around the furniture gallery. 


The Allis - West Loop Great place to work and find inspo. 





DINNER


Gather - Lincoln Square 

This is my all time favorite restaurant in Chicago. The brussels sprouts are my favorite dish and before you think "really, brussels sprouts?" Give them a try and your mind will be blown. This place is hands down my favorite restaurant I've ever tried. 


Arami - West Town 

Authentic Japanese spot with quality fish. Let the waiter pick for you. They never disappoint.


Yuzu - West Town 

A hip sushi spot that's always packed. The mango-avocado salad + baked mushrooms are a MUST! 


Cafe BabaReeba - Lincoln Park 

Great place to go with a group and share. They also have pitchers of sangria! ​


Rangoli - Humboldt Park 

Authentic Indian food thats so damn good and also super spicy! 


Ping Pong - Lakeview 

Haven't had a bad thing here. The best part is the chocolate covered fortune cookies at the end of your meal! :) 


Kai Zan - Humboldt Park 

The place that made me fall in love with sashimi. Also the uni shooters are a must. Definitely make reservations ahead of time because it is always busy. 


Pera Turkish Kitchen - Lincoln Park 

Mana Food Bar - Wicker Park

Favorite vegetarian restaurant in all of Chicago! Tapas style so you can try a few different things! 


Girl + The Goat - West Loop The first restaurant of Top chef, Stephanie Izard and definitely a must try at least once. I had to make our reservations like 3 months in advance just an FYI!  


Aba - West Loop ​

Rootstock - Humboldt Park 

Isla Pilipina - Lincoln Square 

One of my favorites in all of Chicago for filipino food. The lumpia shangai, nilaga, spaghetti and fried chicken with a calamansi juice on the side are key. Finish off with halo-halo! 


Handlebar - Wicker Park 

Vegetarian bar/restaurant. Nothing too fancy but a fun place to go with a group. 


Mindy's Hot Chocolate - Wicker Park 

Obviously get a hot chocolate for dessert! 


Urban Belly - West Loop/Wicker Park




CHEAP EATS

Simply It - Lincoln Park 

My favorite vietnamese restaurant in all of Chicago and is also super cheap. Get the spring rolls, pho and avocado wontons. 


Chiya Chai - Logan Square 

Cheap and delicious. Try the classic Spicy Masala Chai and the homemade pies. 


Sticky Rice - North Center Great Thai food! 


Bon Bon Sandwiches - Wicker Park 

Vietnamese restaurant with tons of vegan and vegetarian options. 



DRINKS


Oromo Cafe - Lincoln Square 

They make ALL their nutmilks in house. My favorite is the Golden Milk Latte. 


Intelligentsia - Multiple Locations 

Matcha with oatmilk. <3 

CC Ferns - Humboldt Park 

This has been my coffee shop since it opened. I lived 5 minutes from here and would go daily. They carry Metropolis coffee and also have delicious matcha. The ambiance itself is dark, calm and cozy. 


​Chiya Chai - Logan Square 

La Colombe - West Loop/Wicker Park/Lincoln Park 

Oat milk draft latte when its hot orrrrr oat milk latte. I also am a huge fan of their plain drip. 


Limitless Coffee - River North 

A lot of different lattes and adaptogen tonics. 


Caffe Streets - Wicker Park 

​Fairgrounds Coffee + Tea - Wicker Park Marin Kombucha on tap. Also can get any matcha as an espresso style drink. Matcha americano anyone?


JuiceRx - Wicker Park The fruit bowl with homemade coconut whip cream is just... wow. 


Heritage Bicycles + Cafe - Lincoln Square 

​Sawada Coffee - West Loop Two words -- Military Latte. Just try it. 


Real Good Stuff Co - River North MUST try the NoYo FroYo! My favorite flavor is Bluice Wayne and Matcha!




LOCAL MARKETS + FARMERS MARKETS


Lincoln Square Farmers Market - Starting June 4th (Tuesday) and June 6th (Thursday) throughout October 31st 

Logan Square Farmers Market - Every Sunday 

Green City Farmers Market - Saturdays -- June through October

Local Foods - The name says it all -- a complete grocery store full of local goods. They also have a coffee bar, meat counter and food there as well. 

Amish & Healthy Foods - My favorite little Amish grocer in Ukrainian Village. 




SHOPPING

Humboldt House - Humboldt Park 

Home goods, vintage wear, rugs and so much more. 


Little Peach Fuzz - Humboldt Park 

A hip and modern shop just for kids! 


Rotofugi - Lincoln Park 

Gather Home + Lifestyle - Wicker Park 

Una Maes - Wicker Park 

AD HOC - West Town 

Sprout Home - West Town Home-goods and plant heaven! 


Adams + Sons Gardens - Humboldt Park Family owned and affordable plants. 


​Sir & Madame - Hyde Park 

Modern Cooperative - Hyde Park 

Fleur - Logan Square 



ACTIVITIES


Garfield Park Conservatory 

Lincoln Park Conservatory 

Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk

North Avenue Beach

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Museum Of Contemporary Art (MCA)  

The Art Institute Of Chicago

The 606

​LillStreet Art Center

Humboldt Park


OUTSIDE OF THE CITY


Chicago Botanic Gardens 

Mitsuwa Marketplace - Algonquin

Tala Coffee Roasters - HIghwood 

​Starved Rock State Park - Oglesby, IL

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